How to Enroll In a Welding Technical School near Chandler Arizona
Enrolling in the ideal welder vocational school near Chandler AZ is an important first step to beginning your new occupation as a professional welder. But since there are numerous schools to select from, how do you know which ones to consider? And more importantly, once you have fine tuned your choices, how do you pick the right one? A number of people begin by looking at the schools that are nearest to their homes. When they have identified those that are within driving distance, they gravitate toward the least expensive one. Yes, location and tuition cost are necessary issues when reviewing welding technical schools, but they are not the only ones. Other considerations include such things as reputation, accreditation and job placement rates. So before initiating your search for a vocational school to become a welder, it’s wise to develop a list of qualifications that your chosen welding school must have. But before we examine our due diligence checklist, let’s talk a little bit about how to become a welder.
Welder Certificate and Degree Training
There are multiple alternatives available to get training as a welder in a trade or vocational school. You can obtain a a certificate, a diploma or an Associate Degree. Bachelor Degrees are available in Welding Technology or Welding Engineering, but are more advanced courses than most journeyman welders will need. Some programs are also made available along with an apprenticeship program. Below are short explanations of the most typical welding programs available in Chandler AZ.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are generally made available by Arizona technical and trade schools and require about 1 year to finish. They are more hands-on training in scope, fashioned mainly to teach welding skills. They can furnish a good foundation for a new journeyman or apprentice welder, or supplemental skills for experienced welders.
- Associate Degree Programs will take two years to finish and are most often offered by Arizona community colleges. An Associate Degree in Welding Technology offers a more well-rounded education than the certificate or diploma while still providing the foundation that readies students to enter the workforce.
Many states and municipalities do have licensing requirements for welders, so be sure to find out for your location of future employment. If required, the welder school you select should prep you for any licensing examinations that you will have to pass in addition to furnishing the appropriate training to become a qualified welder in Chandler AZ.
Welder Certification Choices
There are multiple organizations that provide welder certifications, which assess the skill level and knowledge of those applying. Many Chandler AZ employers not only require a degree or certificate from an accredited welding program, but also certification from a renowned organization like the American Welding Society (AWS). A wide range of certifications are available based on the kind of work that the welder performs. Some of the skills that certification can acknowledge are the welder’s ability to
- Work in compliance with specific codes
- Work with certain metal thicknesses
- Work with certain types of welds
- Operate based on contract specifications
As already mentioned, various cities, states or local municipalities have licensing requirements for welders. Of those calling for licensing, a number also require certification for different kinds of work. Certification is also a means to demonstrate to Chandler AZ employers that you are a highly skilled and qualified welder. So similarly as with licensing, check the requirements for your local area and make sure that the welding trade school you choose readies you for certification if needed.
Online Welding Schools
Welding is truly a hands-on kind of trade, and for that reason not very compatible with training online. Having said that, there are some online welding courses offered by various Chandler AZ area community colleges and vocational schools that may be credited toward a degree or certificate program. These classes primarily cover such topics as safety, reading blueprints, and metallurgy. They can help provide a novice a foundation to begin their training and education. However, the most important point is that you can’t learn how to weld or work with welding materials until you actually do it. Clearly that can’t be accomplished online. These skills have to be learned in an on-campus setting or in an apprenticeship. Online or distance learning is more appropriate for seasoned welders that desire to advance their expertise or perhaps attain a more advanced degree. So if you should discover an online welding degree or certificate program, be very cautious and make sure that the greater part of the training is done on campus or in a workshop type of environment.
How to Choose a Welding Trade Program
As soon as you have chosen the credential you would like to obtain, a certificate, diploma or degree, you can begin to compare schools. As you probably know, there are numerous welder vocational and trade schools in the Chandler AZ area. That’s why it’s necessary to determine up front what qualifications your chosen school must have. We have already discussed a couple of significant ones that many people look at first, which are location and the cost of tuition. As stated, although they are essential qualifiers, they are not the only ones that should be looked at. After all, the program you choose is going to provide the training that will be the foundation of your new vocation as a welder. So following are some additional factors you might want to evaluate before picking a welder technical school.
Accreditation. It’s very important that the welding tech school you pick is accredited by either a regional or a national agency. There are 2 basic kinds of accreditation. The school may attain Institutional Accreditation based on all of their programs. Programmatic Accreditation is based on a single program the school offers, for instance Welding Technology. So make sure that the program you choose is accredited, not just the school alone. Additionally, the accreditation should be by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency, like the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, the accreditation can also help in getting financial assistance or student loans, which are frequently not offered for Chandler AZ schools that are not accredited. Also, for those states or municipalities that mandate licensing, they may require that the welder training program be accredited also.
Apprenticeship and Job Placement Programs. Numerous welding diploma or degree programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program. Various other schools will help place you in a job or an apprenticeship after graduation. Find out if the schools you are looking at assist in placing students in apprenticeships or have a job assistance program. These schools should have partnerships with local unions and other Chandler AZ metal working businesses to which they can place their students. More established schools may have a larger network of graduates that they can rely upon for placements. These programs can help students find employment and establish associations within the regional welding community.
Job Placement and Completion Rates. The completion rate is the percentage of students that start an academic program and complete it. It’s essential that the welding school you select has a high completion rate. A reduced rate could indicate that the students who were in the program were unhappy with the training, the instructors, or the facilities, and dropped out. The job placement rate is also a good indicator of the caliber of training. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the program has a good reputation within the industry, but additionally that it has the network of Chandler AZ contacts to assist students obtain apprenticeships or employment after graduation.
Up-to-date Equipment and Facilities. Once you have decreased your choice of welding schools to 2 or 3 options, you should consider going to the campuses to look over their facilities. Make sure that both the facilities and the equipment that you will be trained on are modern. In particular, the training equipment should be similar to what you will be working with on the job. If you are uncertain what to look for, and are already in an apprenticeship program, consult with the master welder you are working under for guidance. If not, ask a local Chandler AZ welding contractor if they can give you a few pointers.
School Location. Even though we already briefly discussed the relevance of location, there are a few additional issues that we should cover. You should keep in mind that unless you can relocate, the welding program you pick must be within commuting distance of your Chandler AZ home. If you do choose to attend an out-of-state school, besides relocation expenses there may be higher tuition fees for out-of-state residents. This is especially the case for welder certificate programs offered by community colleges. Furthermore, if the school provides an apprenticeship or job placement program, often their placements are within the school’s regional community. So the location of the school should be in a region or state where you subsequently will want to work.
Smaller Classes. Personalized training is essential for a manual trade such as welding. It’s possible to be overlooked in bigger classes and not receive much personalized instruction. Ask what the average class size is for the Chandler AZ area welding schools you are reviewing. Inquire if you can sit in on a couple of classes so that you can witness how much personal attention the students are receiving. While there, talk with some of the students and get their feedback. Also, speak with a few of the teachers and ask what their welding experience has been and what certifications and credentials they hold.
Flexible Class Schedules. Some people learn a new trade while still working at their current job. Make sure that the class schedules for the programs you are reviewing are convenient enough to fulfill your needs. If you can only go to classes in the evenings or on weekends near Chandler AZ, make certain that the schools you are reviewing provide those options. If you can only enroll part-time, verify that the school you decide on offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make up classes if you you miss any because of illness, work or family circumstances.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Welder?When getting ready to interview for a Welding position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask Welder prospects is "What made you choose Welding as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a Welding Tech, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to Welding, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional Welder and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Choose the Ideal Welding Tech School near Chandler AZ
Selecting the best welding training program will probably be the most important decision you will make to start your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many factors that you will need to examine and compare between the schools you are reviewing. It’s a prerequisite that any welder training program that you are evaluating includes a considerable amount of hands-on instruction. Classes need to be smaller in size and each student should have their personal welding machine to train with. Classroom instruction needs to offer a real-world frame of reference, and the course of study should be up-to-date and in-line with industry standards. Courses vary in length and the type of credential provided, so you will have to decide what length of program and degree or certificate will best fulfill your needs. Each program offers different options for certification as well. Perhaps the best way to research your short list of schools is to check out each campus and talk with the faculty and students. Invest some time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make sure that you are confident that the training program you choose is the ideal one for you. With the proper training, hard work and commitment, the final outcome will be a new occupation as a professional welder in Chandler AZ.
About Chandler Arizona
Chandler is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona, United States, and a prominent suburb of the Phoenix, Arizona, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). It is bordered to the north and west by Tempe, to the north by Mesa, to the west by Phoenix, to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, and to the east by Gilbert. As of July 2015, the population was 260,828 according to the United States Census Bureau, According to the city's official website, Chandler's Transportation & Development Department estimated the population, as of May 2016, to be 247,328. It also has satellite locations for many technology companies, including Intel and Orbital ATK.
In 1891, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, the first veterinary surgeon in Arizona Territory, settled on a ranch south of Mesa, studying irrigation engineering. By 1900, he had acquired 18,000 acres (73 km2) of land, and began drawing up plans for a townsite on what was then known as the Chandler Ranch. The townsite office opened on May 17, 1912, the same year that Chandler High School was established. The townsite was bounded by Galveston Street on the north, Frye Road on the south, Hartford Street on the west, and Hamilton Street on the east. By 1913, a town center had become established, featuring the Hotel San Marcos, the first golf resort in the state.
Most of Chandler's economy was successfully sustained during the Great Depression (a second San Marcos hotel was canceled due to the Depression however), but the cotton crash a few years later had a much deeper impact on the city's residents. Later, the founding of Williams Air Force Base in 1941 led to a small surge in population, but Chandler still only held 3,800 people by 1950. By 1980, it had grown to 30,000, and it has since paced the Phoenix metropolitan area's high rate of growth, with vast suburban residential areas swallowing former agricultural plots. Some of this growth was fueled by the establishment of manufacturing plants for communications and computing firms such as Microchip, Motorola and Intel.
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